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Published on February 25th, 2019 | by Nicole Randall

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When a Movie Makes a Billboard Famous

Nicole Randall

Nicole Randall OAAA Communications Senior Director


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Last night at the 2019 Academy Awards, A Star is Born won an Oscar for Best Original Song. Lady Gaga accepted her first Oscar for her role in writing and performing the song “Shallow.”

In case you missed it, watch Gaga and Bradley Cooper perform the award-winning song at the awards ceremony last night.

In the film, Gaga’s character Ally realizes she’s become a sensation when her face appears on a billboard in Hollywood. If you’ve not yet seen the film, you can watch the scene here:

Days before the Golden Globe Awards in early January, a real-life version of the OOH ad appeared near the same location as it was in the film—in front of the famous Chateau Marmont on the Sunset Strip. Graphic Designer Andrea Burrell, who came up with the now iconic design, said Warner Bros asked her to make it real “for awards season to create buzz.”

“They wanted it exactly how I had designed it,” she said. Read her full interview about the billboard in Vulture.

Create buzz, it did. The billboard quickly went viral. Fans flocked to the board for photos to share on Instagram and Twitter.

Celebrities joined in the fun, as well. According to Billboard Magazine, Niall Horan, the former One Direction member, filmed the billboard with his phone while crooning a line from “Shallow.”

According to OUTFRONT Media, the Ally billboard earned more than 8,000 mentions and reached more than 38 million consumers via social media.

Seven weeks later, capitalizing on its new inventory in Los Angeles as well as the famous Ally billboard, Netflix is using OOH to promote its upcoming stand-up special Amy Schumer Growing. The media company almost completely recreated the billboard from A Star Is Born, with the same colors and fonts, replacing Ally’s face for Amy’s.

Netflix tweeted a picture of the billboard, saying: “There could be 100 billboards on Sunset Boulevard and 99 don’t promote @AmySchumer’s new stand-up special – but one does.”

This is a jab at Lady Gag’s press tour “There Could be 100 People in A Room…” speech, which some say she told one too many times. Watch her speech here. Watch them all here. Watch Saturday Night Live spoof the speech here.

Adweek’s Agency Spy finds it “interesting that the company looks to elbow its way into old school Hollywood the traditional way, with straight-up bigger-than-life signs along the Boulevard of well-financed dreams.”

About the Amy billboard recreating the Lady Gaga billboard recreating the Ally billboard, Agency Spy said, “isn’t it kinda cool how simple billboards still get the work done?”

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